Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool is telling a familiar story now that he’s with the Chicago Bears.
Claypool has struggled mightly since Chicago sent the pick that became the No. 32 overall selection in the 2023 NFL draft to Pittsburgh in exchange for him. He played in seven games while dealing with an injury in 2022, making 14 catches for 140 yards.
This season, he has just four catches in his first three games. There has been criticism from both coaches and teammates about his effort level on blocking downs, and now Claypool is saying that he’s not being used properly in the Chicago offense.
Asked directly if he feels the Bears offensive staff is putting him in the best position to thrive, he was direct — “no.”
“I think every situation has the ability to be ideal, and I think we’re just working towards that,” Claypool said. “I wouldn’t say it’s not an ideal place for me. Obviously, there’s other places – you can say, ‘Oh, I want to be on the best offense with the highest passing yards,’ but that doesn’t happen in football. You just have to make do with what you got.”
When asked how he cold be better utilized, Claypool declined to directly answer.
“You know, I’ll let them decide that,” he said. “I’m not going to give any pointers. That’s their job to decide, and I’ll just do what they tell me to do.”
If those comments sound familiar, that’s because as soon as Claypool got to Chicago, he made similar comments about not being used properly in the Steelers’ offense.
“It was hard for me to make big plays because anytime there was a big play drawn up, it was like on the other side,” Claypool said last year about his time in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers’ second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, Claypool was electric in his rookie season, when he caught 62 passes for 873 yards and nine touchdowns. But he was never able to recapture that level of success.
In 2021, he caught 59 passes for 860 yards and two scores. In 2022, a move to the slot position did not sit well with Claypool and he was traded mid-season to the Bears.
The Steelers used the No. 32 overall pick they got in the trade to draft Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr.